It’s ten days away—the opening day of the Great State Fair of Texas, also known as the Fried Food Capital of Texas (and arguably the world).
The fair is really near and dear to my heart and always has been. I grew up in Dallas and remember looking forward to receiving my complimentary ticket each year from my teacher. (Yes, we take the Midway and corny dogs so seriously that many districts in the area offer a “Fair Day” holiday away from school).
The State Fair signals the official end of summer and the beginning of the fall season. Think about it: opening day is typically marked by sky-high temps and the desperate pursuit of a cool indoor refuge to enjoy your fried indulgences. But as October rolls on, your day at the fair has a much higher potential of being interrupted by rain showers, and the air becomes more crisp and bearable. Once the fair wraps up in late October, Thanksgiving is on the brain—which, of course, leads my mind to Christmas tree decorating and carol-singing. The fair, to me, represents new beginnings and a chance to reflect on the summer months.
But for most of you, it is (and understandably so) the perfect opportunity to pig out. Make no mistake—I’m pretty fond of that part of the deal, too.
That’s why I thought it appropriate to give our readers a run-down on all the unique delicacies available to fair patrons this year:
- Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Burrito - Chocolate chip cookie dough fried in a flour tortilla. Served with chocolate or strawberry drizzle and whipped cream.
- Loaded Avocado Crispy Fries - A tray of fresh avocado slices, breaded, and fried crispy. Served covered with layers of Monterey Jack cheese, queso, bacon crumbles, fresh cilantro, and jalapeno slices.
- Fried Shrimp & Cheese Jalapeno - Deep Fried Jalapeno Pepper stuffed with shrimp and cream cheese, battered and deep-fried.
- Deep Fried Spaghetti and Meatball - Pasta, Roma tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella are deep-fried in a red lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit.
Other new foods for the 2013 season? Deep Fried Shrimp and Grits, Deep Fried Elote (a crunchy mix of corn, queso fresco, and salsa valentina), Pig Toes on a Stick, The Beast Burrito, Spicy Spam Empanadas, Deep Fried Creole Boulette and Deep Fried BBQ Wontons. (You can read the descriptions of these items here).
These are just a few of the ones I’m personally salivating over, but we can’t forget about the classics—Fletcher’s corny dogs, fresh lemonade and turkey legs, to name a few.
Plus, new vendors this year include Scrumbscious Pie Shakes and the legendary Highland Park Soda Fountain.
One thing I love about the fair is that there’s something for everyone. You can leave dads at the auto show, and they’ll be entertained for hours. Kids and adults can spend time feeding livestock and admiring the adorable animals, and moms like to stop by the celebrity chef demonstrations and the garden show.
According to fair officials, Big Tex fans have donated more than $95,000 to rebuild the beloved staple of the annual fair since the unfortunate incident last year. The newest incarnation of Big Tex will be unveiled officially at 2 p.m. on opening day, Sept. 27. In addition, the Chinese Lantern Festival will be back this year during the fair’s run, and it will continue through January 5 of next year. Click here for more information about the festival.
Concerts this year will feature musical guests Asleep at the Wheel, Blondie, Molly Ringwald, Cory Morrow, Kelly Rowland, Kacey Musgraves and Casting Crowns among other artists. You can see the full list of performers here.
What’s your favorite part of the State Fair? Comment below and make your voice heard!